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Monday, February 27, 2012

Make a Smiley Face for these guys

The range of motion for the mouth when speaking Japanese is limited. あいうえお and the Japanese 子音 don't demand a lot of movement. Watch 50 year old Japanese guys talk, and you'll see what I mean: many (most?) of them barely move their mouth. In fact, their facial muscles have atrophied to the point where they can't stretch their mouth very far. The older you are, the harder it gets.

This is why I recommended Rebecca's mouth-stretching exercises in my January 25 blog post.

There are two common English sounds you need to really stretch into a smiley face for. One is the [æ] vowel, which is in "cat." The other is [l], especially and "l" sound at the END of a word.

These are two sounds you are going to struggle with. I provide corrective feedback in class, but the gist of it is that you have to move your mouth more when you speak English than when you speak Japanese.

Please speak English well!